Get parents and caregivers involved so you can partner together to give their child the support they need.
Many parents and caregivers would like to be involved in their children's learning, but don't necessarily understand the conceptual way of teaching math for deeper understanding. Getting them involved early on can go a long way towards making sure your students have the support they need at home. Here are some ideas for engaging parents and caregivers that worked well in my district:
Give homework assignments that involve parents and caregivers. I once gave my geometry students an assignment to work on a home project that their parent or caregiver wanted to do, for example sewing a curtain or hanging a shelf. Students were asked to help with the project and identify how mathematics played a role. It's important that assignments that involve parents or caregivers aren't seen as a burden since they already have a lot on their plate!
Prepare parents and caregivers for the type of learning their child will experience. Help them understand that the Standards for Mathematical Practice are meant to prepare their children for success in the future by teaching them how to think through a process and pick appropriate tools to solve a problem. Share ideas for how to use guiding questions instead of simply telling them how to do something.
Keep parents and caregivers in the loop with ongoing communication. Send regular emails to keep them informed about what their children are learning. You can send a chapter summary for each chapter you cover, as well as articles about questioning strategies and growth mindset. If you're using the Carnegie Learning Math Solution, "The Home Connection" in the Help Center is an excellent resource for parents and caregivers.
Host a Family Math Night. Invite parents and caregivers to the school and let students present their work. It helps parents see their children speaking in mathematical terms and showcasing what they've learned. You can also design math stations where caregivers and students play games together, giving the students further opportunities to share what they know.
These strategies will help parents and caregivers feel like your partner in their child's education, and together, you can both give students the support they need to grow their confidence and further their understanding.
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